Looking for an internship?
You don’t need to look far
by Lauren Fusco
Internships are a big part of the Department of Journalism & PR student experience, and with the helpful resources available, the problem isn’t getting an internship, it’s choosing one.
Whether a student is taking a stroll through the third floor of Tehama Hall, browsing the department’s Facebook page or receiving an email from instructors, J&PR students don’t have to look far when searching for an internship.
Importance of Internships
Internships equal experience, which is a golden ticket in the real world. Employers expect and demand to see the word ‘internship’ on resumes, something instructors will tell students from day one.
Internships are a must in the newspaper world, said David Little, editor for the Chico Enterprise- Record. Little has 13 years of experience when it comes to working with interns, many of them Chico State students.
“Newspapers will almost never hire someone out of college that hasn’t worked at a professional newspaper before,” Little said.
The constant pressure and the daily deadlines can be shocking and overwhelming, he said. The experiences and skills internships offer students help to put their knowledge into action.
A Timeline Full of Internships
Not only does the department highlight on-campus internships such as The Orion and Tehama Group Communications, but it is also dedicated to finding and announcing a wide range of outside internships to students.
The department utilizes the Facebook timeline feature, because it is great place to network with alumni and fellow students. The timeline is filled with daily department updates and internship opportunities.
Department Chair Susan Wiesinger keeps students up-to-date with all internship opportunities that come her way, and alumni also contribute their own opportunities.
Students have found internships ranging from local sports writing to Ms. Magazine, a female issues magazine co-founded by Gloria Steinem.
One student, who is currently teaching in South Korea, still uses the timeline to connect with Chico State, Wiesinger said.
The Department of Journalism & PR Internship Stipend Program
Finding a paid internship is not always guaranteed. Students sometimes shy away from unpaid or minimally paid internships, Wiesinger said.
An unpaid internship can be both a resume boost and a financial hardship. For that reason, an alumni-funded program was created with the goal of compensating students who have taken these types of internships that are located outside of the department’s program, Wiesinger said.
The fledgling Journalism & PR Internship Stipend Program has been funded by donations from alumni during the university’s annual telemarketing campaign, she said.
Numerous alumni contributed to the program, but a generous donation made by alumnus, David Hufford, made stipends a reality, Wiesinger said. His $5,000 donation was matched by his employer, Microsoft Corp.
The program allows students to receive up to $500, depending on the work output and reports from the internship supervisor.
Completion of the application, faculty recommendations and information about the internship from the supervisor are required for stipend consideration.
The stipend program is intended to reward students who have to sacrifice time and money for unpaid or minimally paid internships, Wiesinger said. Though it won’t cover all expenses, at least travel costs can be covered in students’ quest for priceless experience.
In Line For The Prize
The first student to apply for the J&PR internship stipend was Jennifer Moreno, a senior with a news-editorial option.
Moreno interned at ChicoSol, a nonprofit monthly online magazine with the goal of creating dialogue and news within a cross-cultural community.
Moreno heard about the internship stipend program for the first time from Chico State instructor and ChicoSol editor Leslie Layton.
Layton saw Moreno’s passion for journalism, and presented her with the stipend opportunity, Layton said.
“I have really, really high standards,” Layton said. “And like professional work, there should be some sort of compensation.”
Moreno took on a variety of tasks this summer with ChicoSol, including conducting interviews with community members and creating video projects.
“My video skills and communication skills have been strengthened and they will definitely help me once I graduate,” Moreno said.
The experience that Moreno gained while interning at ChicoSol will help her leave Chico State, well-prepared and ready for the real world of journalism.